A memorial event for the late M Karunanidhi will be held at 4 pm on the YMCA grounds in Chennai on Thursday. The five-time chief minister and DMK president passed away at the age of 94 on August 7. Karunanidhi’s son M K Stalin, who took over as DMK chief on Tuesday, has sent out invites to a galaxy of national leaders cutting across party lines.
Several leaders are expected to fly down to the city for the event, including Chief Ministers Nitish Kumar, Arvind Kejriwal, N Chandrababu Naidu and V Narayanaswamy. JD(S)’s H D Deve Gowda, Congress’ Ghulam Nabi Azad, NCP’s Sharad Pawar, National Congress’ Farooq Abdullah, TMC’s Derek O’Brien, CPM’s Sitaram Yechury and Suravaram Sudhakar Reddy will also be in attendance.
While there were reports that the DMK had invited BJP chief Amit Shah for the event, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari is likely to represent the party today.
Several leaders had travelled to the city earlier this month to attend the DMK patriarch’s funeral on August 8, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Congress president Rahul Gandhi, and Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan, Telangana CM K Chandrasekhar Rao, Andhra Pradesh CM N Chandrababu Naidu, Karnataka CM HD Kumaraswamy and West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee.
Stalin was unanimously elected president of the DMK during the party’s general council meeting on Tuesday. Addressing DMK leaders, he had targeted the BJP-led government at the Centre for “trying to paint the nation in the colour saffron”. Taking on the ruling AIADMK in the state, he added, “We are anguished when we see the state government without the spine of self-respect and the Central government which infringes on social justice, rationalism and quality.”